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Veterinary Students Advance Animal and Human Health Through Research as Boehringer Ingelheim Veterinary Scholars

Veterinary Students Advance Animal and Human Health Through Research as Boehringer Ingelheim Veterinary Scholars

2019 Marks the 30th Anniversary of Summer Programs That Have Exposed 3,500 Veterinary Students to Scientific Processes and Research Work

2019 Marks the 30th Anniversary of Summer Programs That Have Exposed 3,500 Veterinary Students to Scientific Processes and Research Work

More than 200 students from 42 veterinary schools in the U.S. and six other countries will forego vacation this summer and spend time in labs and classrooms. They will conduct hands-on research, network with academic and industry leaders and develop presentations of their research that they will share at a symposium in Boston in late July.

This group of promising veterinarians, most of whom are between their first and second years of veterinary school, will gain practical insight into the skills required and opportunities for careers in biomedical research. They also will help advance understanding of diseases affecting animals and humans, such as cancer and diabetes, and research public health threats like antibiotic-resistance and emerging diseases. The students are the latest of about 3,500 to participate in the Boehringer Ingelheim Veterinary Scholars program, which marks its 30th anniversary this year.

As the founding sponsor of the program, Boehringer Ingelheim funds a challenge grant supporting $5,000 stipends for half of the veterinary students participating this summer, which is matched by the participating universities for the remaining participants. That assistance supports students conducting research in laboratories at virtually all accredited schools of veterinary medicine in North America, as well as in Germany, France, and The Netherlands. As part of the program, students also participate in seminars and discussion groups on the scientific process, research techniques, ethics and career opportunities.

Each Veterinary Scholar is assigned a mentor and laboratory and conducts a hypothesis-driven research project developed by the scholar and mentor. The research project is typically conducted over 10-12 weeks. At the end of the program, scholars present their findings to peers and attending faculty. Scheduled activities supplement the research work, providing opportunities for students to learn about the broader aspects of research.

"The Veterinary Scholars program provides an invaluable opportunity for students to learn the basic laboratory and data-analysis skills that set the foundation for scientific rigor. They learn to develop a compelling hypothesis and gain exposure to the complexity and iterative process involved in proving concepts, as well as the critical thinking and communications skills required to translate and present their theories and findings to others," explained Roberto Alva Valdes, DVM, MS, PhD, executive director of the Boehringer Ingelheim Veterinary Scholars Program.

"Students who have participated in this program have gone on to pursue impressive careers advancing both veterinary and human health care and paying it forward by nurturing subsequent generations of veterinary students, and their contributions over the years are immeasurable," he said.

At the conclusion of the summer program, students have the opportunity to present their research findings at the annual National Veterinary Scholars Symposium. This year's Symposium, hosted by Tufts University, will be held July 26-29 in Boston. In addition to scientific sessions and keynote presentations, students have the opportunity to learn more about potential careers in biomedical research, as well as practical topics, such as grant and manuscript writing and time management. The Veterinary Scholars also have the opportunity to network with each other and with mentors from academic, industry and government backgrounds.

The Boehringer Ingelheim Veterinary Scholars Program and Symposium have grown over three decades from sponsorship of a handful of students to a well-established and highly competitive program. The number of sponsored students and participating schools has more than doubled since 2000, from 54 students at eight schools to more than 100 students at 42 schools in 2019.

Since its inception, more than 3,500 veterinary students have participated in this annual program and benefited from the experience and exposure to career pathways. The impact is significant to the students involved, to industry and to human and animal patients. Veterinary Scholar alumni now work in a variety of careers and settings, researching cures for cancer in humans and dogs, developing vaccines for emerging diseases in livestock, advancing regulatory standards and monitoring public health threats, and teaching and mentoring tomorrow's innovators and veterinarians.



SUSAN WILLIAMS
A Boehringer Ingelheim Scholars Program Recipient

"No one thinks about chickens having a Veterinarian."

Professor with Pathology Passion Inspires New Crop of Vets to Consider Research as Vital Professional Path

Susan Williams was a cut-up as a kid - but it wasn't about the laughs. You should be more studious when you wield a surgically sharp filet knife. Like many 8-year-olds, she went fishing with her dad. She remembers best, not the bass they stalked in San Francisco Bay, how she would sit on the boat and cut open silver baitfish to see what was inside.

"I was always wanting to know how things work," Williams said. "We'd be looking at all the guts, and my dad would try to help me identify the organs." With that, a pathology expert was born.

Williams started as a zoology major at the University of California-Davis, volunteering at the school's raptor rescue center. She entered vet school at Tuskegee University and then accelerated her career when she accepted a spot in the Boehringer Ingelheim Veterinary Scholars Program, which introduced her to poultry research at the University of Georgia in 1992.

"I was in the pathology department, so I also got to do stuff on the necropsy floor when we weren't having experiments," said Williams, who helped collect turkey blood and separated out the white blood cells as part of disease study. "And then I'd work with pathology residents, participating in their slide rounds, and that kind of cemented the idea,'Yeah, I do want to do pathology.'"

Today, Williams is a professor with an emphasis on veterinary pathology. She works at the Poultry Diagnostic Research Center in the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Georgia. She provides pathology services - the examination of animal tissue to determine the cause and effects of diseases.

Her veterinary expertise is critical for the state of Georgia, which leads the U.S. in poultry production. The market value of broiler chickens is about $4.4 billion in Georgia; eggs are valued at $850 million.

"When most people think about veterinarians, they think about dogs and cats or they think about James Herriot of All Creatures Great and Small," Williams said. "I had that phase. No one thinks about chickens having a veterinarian but chickens need veterinary care to ensure healthy food comes to the table."

Williams also serves as a co-director of the University of Georgia's Veterinary Scholars Program, encouraging vet students to try their hand at research.

The bait she dangles in front of potential scholars is about them making a big impact. The science behind animal disease supports broad economies, protects public health and deepens the human-animal bond.

"It has come back full circle trying to get students interested in research," Williams said. "For more it's a big bonus that I can be a role model for students."

HOLLY S. SELLERS
DVM, MSpVM, Diplomate ACPV

Professor
Poultry Diagnostic & Research Center
Athens, Georgia

HOLLY S. SELLERS
DVM, MSpVM, Diplomate ACPV

Professor
Poultry Diagnostic & Research Center
Athens, Georgia

Avian reoviruses are important poultry pathogens associated with enteric and lameness issues in commercial broilers and turkey breeders. While some reoviruses are considered non-pathogenic, others are involved with malabsorption syndrome, and runting and stunting syndrome and are recognized as causative agents of viral tenosynovitis/arthritis. The economic significance of clinical disease is highlighted by decreased hatchability, decreased fertility due to tendon rupture in breeder males, lameness in chicken broilers and turkey breeders, decreased growth, increased feed conversion rates, uniformity issues in broilers, and increased condemnations at the processing plant.

Because reovirus transmission occurs both vertically and horizontally, vaccination of broiler breeders is critical for reducing egg transmission and providing maternal antibodies to progeny. Younger birds are more susceptible to reoviral disease, so adequate levels of maternal antibodies are essential to provide protection against early challenge in the field. Vaccination programs target broiler breeders and include a combination of commercial live attenuated, inactivated vaccines and in recent years, autogenous or custom, inactivated limited license vaccines. Live attenuated reovirus vaccines are also available for use at day-of-hatch and some are used in ovo. Current commercial vaccine strains (S1133, 1733, 2408 and 2177 in the U.S.) have successfully been used for decades to control diseases associated with reovirus.>

Variant reoviruses from clinical cases of tenosynovitis/viral arthritis in broilers and turkey breeders emerged in the U.S. and elsewhere around the world in 2011. The term "variant" refers to reoviruses that are genetically and antigenically distinct from the classic reoviruses present in many commercial vaccines (examples such as S1133, 1733, 2408, and 2177). Unfortunately, many variants have since been isolated from clinical cases of tenosynovitis and genetic characterization of the viruses results in, at minimum, seven distinct genotypes. Data generated from experimental challenge studies and collected from clinical case submission clearly provide evidence that current commercial vaccines do not provide adequate protection against field challenge with variant reoviruses. The incorporation of autogenous vaccines into existing vaccination programs has become standard in recent years in an effort to control disease. Therefore, protection is dependent upon matching the antigenic strains of the field viruses to those included in vaccines.

While clinical signs are often suggestive of reovirus tenosynovitis/arthritis, diagnostic testing is important for confirmation and characterization. A combination of serology, histopathology, virus isolation, and genetic characterization are critical diagnostic tools for reovirus. Serology is very useful for flock surveillance if base-line titers have previously been established for a given vaccination program. Field challenge in a given flock will result in increased titers in breeders and signal potential egg transmission. Unfortunately, once increases in antibody titer are identified, chances are that infected eggs are already in hatchers and potentially chicks placed in the field are infected with the virus. Serology is very useful in confirming successful vaccination. While the expectation is that birds are vaccinated correctly, confirmation is essential to flock management.

Commercial reovirus ELISA kits detect antibodies to vaccine, as well as, most variant reoviruses. However, they cannot distinguish between reovirus serotypes or genotypes. Virus neutralization assays are the only test available at this time that are capable of detecting antibodies for specific reoviruses. Reovirus isolation from the tendons of affected birds is considered the gold standard for testing. Genetic characterization, based on the sequence of the Sigma C, is a universal platform used for genotyping reoviruses into one of seven genotypes. Biological testing of field isolates is also an important tool for better understanding of the role of reoviruses in clinical disease and pathogenesis; however, limited animal facilities and time constraints make it impossible to evaluate every field isolate in chickens.

If a custom reovirus vaccine is under consideration, it is important to have as much relevant field and laboratory data as possible to make the best-informed decision on the isolate/isolates to include the vaccine. Adequate testing on affected farms will provide necessary data on prevalence of reoviruses and additionally identify the circulating genotypes. Epidemiological assessments of reovirus isolations over time are important in identifying the relevant isolate/isolates to include in a custom vaccine. Even with the sue of a custom vaccine, it is important to continue monitoring flocks for clinical disease and performing diagnostic testing when needed. Reoviruses continue to change over time and isolates used in custom vaccines will undoubtedly need to change. While custom vaccines provide a tool for controlling variant reoviruses, it is important to remember that good vaccination with the live attenuated and inactivated commercial vaccines are an essential component of reovirus immunity.

CLAUDIA OSORIO
DVM, MSpVM, Diplomate ACPV

Professional Veterinarian Services
Boehringer Ingelheim's U.S.
Animal Health business Poultry

CLAUDIA OSORIO
DVM, MSpVM, Diplomate ACPV

Professional Veterinarian Services
Boehringer Ingelheim's U.S.
Animal Health business Poultry

AAAP Women's Network (AWN)

The 1st AAAP Women's Network Event was held at the Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel on Saturday, August 3, 2019. The AAAP Women's Network committee was started as a grassroots effort last year in response to interest from AAAP students and members. The goal of the committee is to encourage, inspire, and connect women across the organization and within the industry so that all can increase their opportunities for networking, leadership, and active engagement in the profession.

Boehringer Ingelheim fully sponsored the evening session. The meeting was a success on so many levels and influenced the lives of many of the members. There was attendance of 87 people at the event.

The invited speaker was Dr. Martha Maznevski, Professor of Organizational Behavior and Faculty Director for Executive Education at Ivey Business School of the University of Western Ontario. Her talk focused on being authentic in work and life. Furthermore, she stressed the importance of "being yourself", being courageous and being an authentic leader.

Dr. Maznevski discussed the differences in behavior between men and women. She illustrated these behaviors often begin when we are school age and that these behaviors can influence leadership and communication styles in the workplace. She also emphasized that effective leaders need to recognize these differences in leadership styles and to incorporate both styles into organizational systems.

Following her address, a panel discussion ensued covering multi-generational and different career types with specific questions being asked to each panelist.

Lastly, Dr. Maznevski opened the floor for discussion which generated a great diversity of interactions and comments.


TED BRUESCH

Technical Support Manager
Liphatech, Inc.

TED BRUESCH

Technical Support Manager
Liphatech, Inc.

Before you can eliminate a rodent infestation, you must locate the places in which they are living and feeding. Since all three species are "prey animals" to many predators, they prefer food sources which are as close as possible to where they live.

Rats and mice will provide clues to help you put your rodenticide in the best places.

  • They excrete dozens of droppings every day, often as they travel.
  • They have oily fur which collects dirt and leaves a dark "rub mark" wherever they travel.
  • They also excrete urine as they travel, contributing to the rub mark.
  • They burrow and gnaw holes in buildings or objects in search of food or harborage. Roof rats and house mice also typically nest in the attic, so ensure you inspect here thoroughly as well and consistently bait as needed.

Rodent Control Tactics:

Inspect both high and low. Focus your rodenticide placements where you see the signs of their activity. Don't expect them to go out of their way and therefore "in harm's way" to find your rodenticide placements. You may need to be creative in where and how you position your bait stations. For example:

  • Position them vertically if there is too little floor space to lay them flat.
  • Secure them to pipes and rafters with zip ties, upon which rodents are travelling.
  • Luring rodents into bait stations can be a challenge. Soft bait rodenticides containing Bromadiolone, Bromethalin & Difethialone have aromas and flavors that strongly attract rodents.


Webinars


TIPS FOR MODERN HATCHERY MANAGEMENT

Incubation period variation is related to the growth rate of the embryos that differs between batches of eggs. Flock age and egg storage are the few parameters that influence embryonic growth rate and, thus, hatching duration. New techniques will allow greater control over embryonic growth to influence uniformity. Other new developments that include increased roles for both ultrasound and micrometry egg shell analysis grading shell thickness by mass to influence the hatch window and day-old chick uniformity. This will assist in creating robust day-old chicks, better prepared to express their genetic potential from the moment of hatch.


UNDERSTANDING CHALLENGES OF NEWCASTLE DISEASE PREVENTION STRATEGIES

Newcastle disease (ND) is a highly contagious, generalized viral disease of domestic poultry, cage and aviary birds, and wild birds but also seen in domestic poultry as a rapidly fatal, high-mortality condition characterized by gastrointestinal, respiratory and/or nervous signs. ND viruses have a varying capability to produce clinical disease in domestic chickens, with some virus strains showing high levels of pathogenicity. The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) has defined ND as the disease caused by viruses whose high and moderate pathogenicity is demonstrated in tests on chickens. Vaccination and biosecurity are considered the best remedies in the prevention and control of the disease in domestic poultry.


2019 US EGG PRODUCER RANKING

WATT Global Media has conducted Egg Industry magazine's annual survey of top U.S. egg producers annually for decades, and the results reported are composed of a combination of company-submitted information and estimates made based on input from publicly reported information and industry sources. In addition to providing what has become the "official" rankings of egg producers by number of hens housed, the survey also provides insight into egg producer's opinions on significant topics.


COMBAT AND PREPARE FOR AVIAN INFLUENZA OUTBREAKS (PART 1)

H9N2 viruses have been circulating in Eurasian poultry industry resulting in great economic losses due to decline in egg production and moderate to high mortality. Influenza A viruses of the H9N2 subtype have been causing infections in poultry population around the globe. Even to this day H9N2 is still one of the three primary avian influenza (AI) subtypes devastating poultry industry. Learn more as industry experts discuss the ways to combat low-pathogen and high-pathogen avian influenza.


COMBAT AND PREPARE FOR AVIAN INFLUENZA OUTBREAKS (PART 2)

Avian influenza (AI) can affect all species of birds in intensive poultry rearing system young laying hens are usually the most affected species. Free-living birds may carry influenza virus without becoming ill due to natural resistance. It is known that wild waterfowl present a natural reservoir for these viruses and can be responsible for the primary introduction of infection into domestic poultry. Learn more as industry experts discuss the ways to combat low-pathogen and high-pathogen AI. This is the second part of a two-part series on avian influenza.


Content published with the permission of Watt Global Media.


The chicken has become the world's most migratory bird, in food form.

Though it can barely fly, the chicken has become the world's most migratory bird, in food form. One bird can be parceled out to half a dozen countries or more. For example: The feet go to China, the legs to Russia, wings to Spain, intestines to Turkey, bones to Amsterdam for soup and breasts to America.

 

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We hoped you have enjoyed this edition of The Feed and welcome your comments and content suggestions. If you are interested in providing content to be published in our newsletter, please let us know.

Click Here

For more information on Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health poultry products and services, click here.

 

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